|Meeting the Humanitarian Challenge - UNV's Work Between Conflict and Development (United Nations Volunteers, 44 p.)|
|Current concerns and future perspectives|
On the natural disaster preparedness and mitigation side, UNV is exploring the scope for joint programmes with regional, sub-regional and national disaster management centers, as well as support to National Committees established for the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR), in collaboration with UNDP and UN/DHA, Whether complex or natural, disasters strike hardest at the poorest: poverty alleviation is a major factor in reducing vulnerability to the effects of disasters. Equally however, experience shows that human and financial investment in disaster prevention, preparedness and mitigation is extremely cost-effective compared to the damage and destruction which otherwise ensue.
For several years UNVs have been directly involved in Disaster prevention and preparedness programmes. For example, in Kenya, UNV specialists are part of the UN Disaster Management Team in Nairobi which provides a vital link between humanitarian relief assistance and development.
UNV specialists are also working in various aspects of disaster preparedness and mitigation programmes to support institutions developing and implementing data-gathering and analysis programmes, e.g. epidemiological surveys, in early warning systems, or introducing new methods of construction for low-cost earthquake-resistant homes in Uganda, or storm-resistant housing in the Cook Islands.
Working out of such institutions, UNV specialists help draw attention to the needs for low-cost disaster prevention/mitigation (DPM) measures at municipal and community level in disaster-prone countries, using appropriate technologies and focusing on the most vulnerable low-income communities,
Similarly, UNV specialists and UNV field workers work to strengthen the technical and managerial capacity of local NGOs and community-based organisations in many countries, particularly under UNVs Participatory Development Programme ("DDS") for strengthening community-based organisations. This is active in a number of African and Asian countries and facilitates sub-regional exchange between experienced grassroots volunteer development workers.
Increasingly, UNVs could generate data on disaster preparedness at country and municipal level for the IDNDR, and in the same or at a subsequent stage, support the percolation of disaster management training (DMT) to sub-national level and community level.